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Travelodge in general
Member Name: paulhanton
Travelodge in general
Advantages: Good new hotels, cheap.
Disadvantages: Bit hit and miss.
I tend to stay in a lot of Travelodge 'hotels', mainly because I often travel on business, to make things easier, I have an online account with them. I have probably used about 15 different Travelodge hotels in the last 6 or 7 years.
There seems to be a huge difference between their better hotels and their worst hotels, which bears no relation to the location, but does seem to be related to the age of the establishment.
I will give you three examples to illustrate my point; the best, the worst, and the bizzarre.
The best Travelodge that I have stayed in is Cheshunt. It only opened in 2007 and just off the A10/M25 is ideally located for Central London and Essex. It is a 5 story building placed on the edge of an industrial estate, with some open fields behind, and a main road alongside. It looks modern, and is. The rooms are very minimilaist, in fact one critisism is a distinct lack of storage space. However, the rooms are large, clean and all have a wall mounted LCD TV, well equipped bathroom, and nice reading lights either side of the large and comfortable beds. There is a bar, quite small, decent breakfast fare £7.50, kids under 16 eat free, plenty of vending machines, including a Ben and Jerry's ice cream vendor, and the staff are friendly and helpful.
The worst (that I have stayed in) is in Worcester. Lovely town, horrid Travelodge. It is situated central to town in an awful 60's/70's concrete block. The staff are slow and not interested, the decor is faded, carpets dirty, lots of faults, such as heaters not working, and the general atmosphere is claustrophobic and oppressive. It overlooks a shopping precinct and carpark, not nice. I have waited to be served for nearly 20 minutes in the bar once and walked out in disgust, luckily there are lots of nice restaurants in Worcester.
The bizzarre. Gants Hill, in Ilford, situated next to a Beefeater type pub, you need to walk down a dimly lit shrub lined 'alley' only to be greeted by a security door. When you get in the staff seem to resent seeing you, yet helpfully give you a sticker to place in your car telling would be thiefs that there are no valuables, hardly confidence inspiring when the majority of the rooms are on the ground floor next to said alleyway. To get some sleep there is difficult at pub closing time, but the pleasant waterfall like sound of drunks urinating tends to have a sophiric effect. When you do wake up, there is no jolly breakfast or bar, instead for an extortionate price you can have a mini pack of cornflakes and orange juice delivered, don't, there is a great cafe, across the road.
Generally rooms are within a reasonable price range, depending of course when and where you are staying and any local or national offfers. I have had rooms as cheap as £15, and as expensive as £55 per night.
The food is surprisingly good at most Travelodges, though the choice is not great. The menu seems to vary every 6 months or so with some 'standards' such as fish n chips. They did do (not now) a lovely steak and ale pie. Breakfast buffet is, in my opinion good value for £7.50; as much as you can eat, all the cooked staples, plus cereals, toast, hot drinks, and in many Travelodges, fruit.
I have noticed that Premier Inn is starting to advertise in a big way now, so may give them a go. This also might be good for Travelodge to have some real competition, they might buck their ideas up a bit.
Overall, I would recommend avoiding the 'older' hotels, and some of the motorway services ones are a bit ropey too. Always have a look at a review of the one you plan to stay in. I would also book, whre possible, some way in advance, as that seems to be best for deals, or check their website: http://www.travelodge.co.uk/
All that being said, if you want somewhere that has at least a minimum standard, to lay your head, cheaply, Travelodge remain a good bet.
Summary: Travelodge in general.
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